Let's talk about food

I for one love food far too much to be smaller than a size 10, or weigh any less than 9 stone. I would love to be a bit slimmer and a bit more toned, but the sad reality is that going out for dinner and trying wonderful new foods (as well as gorging over old faithfuls) is pretty much my favourite thing to do. Yes, I should be able to do this and do it sensibly. But I am too lazy for hardcore exercise. Sticky toffee pudding tastes better than skinny will EVER feel. True story. For goodness sake, I have biscuits tattooed on my arm! I would be a sad excuse for a motivational speaker. I think I have a problem, if I'm being totally honest, especially when it comes to sweet things. I had been on my best behavior until 1am the other night, I was feeling a bit down (pathetic really, can't even blame it on my time of the month) and so I tucked into some Peeps that Jess sent me from america. Well, that chocolate covered squidgy bird shaped blob of marshmallow wonderfulness made me feel 500% better. Yes, you just read that, 500%! Now why would I give up on something that made me feel so happy inside? See. Madness.

Going back to my love of food, when I was invited to the Blythswood Square Hotel for an afternoon cocktail and a spot of lunch from their Market Menu, I would hardly say no! Being the numpty that I am, the online listing for the Market Menu has changed since I went. So I won't be able to provide you with the fancy names of each course. I will just be able to tell you how yummy they were. Drooling again at the thought, brb while I grab a packet of wotsits!

I have visited the Blythswood before for the Scottish Ballet Alice in Wonderland blogger event, filmed a short film in one of their luxury honeymoon suites, indulged in the thermal experience at their beautiful spa, a file and polish, a turus body wrap and scrub, and afternoon tea (all on separate occassions) I am already a big fan of the hotel and their beautiful interior, and top class service. I'd love to pretend I'm someone who frequented lovely places like this every so often, but I've just had a few strokes of good luck! When it comes to food, I have met my match with John. We enjoy a good scran together, and I have only ever tried their afternoon tea, so we were both excited to turn this day into a date and enjoy lunch together.

Priorities, aye?

We took longer choosing the cocktails than we did our actual meal! The cocktail and drinks list comes in this wonderful leather bound book. So much detail, with lots of annotations and illustrations. You'd think picking a cocktail in TGI's was bad enough. My favourite cocktail of all time is an Amaretto Sours, and although they didn't have this on the menu they were more than happy to make one up for me. And. it. was. amazing.

John opted for the Blythswood Negroni, which consisted of Gin, Carpano Antica and Campari. That's a lot of alcohol. And to be honest, it tasted like alcohol. I didn't like it (I was too obsessed over my own anyways) But John drank it slowly and seemed to really enjoy it. I think he felt like a 60's business man from Mad Men. How fantastic is the presentation though? That is a hand cut ice cube right there!

Now onto the dinner. We both got the above for starter, and I am the biggest loser for not taking a note of the names but I thought I'd be able to find them online :( It was essentially a salmon and potato croquette, with candied beetroot and a pea puree. Individually, the only thing out of this combination which would normally appeal to me would be the actual croquette. But together, it was the perfect balance of smooth, crunchy, creamy and sweet. Could have maybe done with one more croquette but that's just me being greedy.

My main course, can't go wrong with fish, potato and greens. The fish was succulent and perfectly cooked. I'd normally say at home the fish/meat would take up 80% of my plate, with greens etc being the rest but I was surprised at how satisfying equal parts fish and potato/veg were. We also had some lovely sun blushed tomato bread on the side (to which I took a sneaky dip into my gravy while no one was looking. I am a pig, I know)

Johns main, lamb medallions with greens and gravy. These were SO GOOD (for review purposes I told him I just had to have a little nibble at his...) I am not normally a fan of lamb, but it was delicious and the gravy was quite sweet, but the sweet potato mash again gave it a lovely creamy balance.

Side order of fries - standard protocol! These were hand cut 'twice fried' chips. I couldn't tell much about how/how long they'd been fried for to be honest, they just tasted like really good, old school home made chips. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

John's desert. Gingerbread icecream, panacotta and a biscotti. I'm not really a fan of either so didn't taste it but the presentation was lovely. And he ate it all so I think it went down well! John says he wasn't really a sweet tooth until he met me. But that is lies! Denial ;)

My desert (always my fave bit obvz) But I must say I was a little disappointed with my chocolate orange sponge. I expected something with a little more pazazz, along the line of John's. It was a bit too on the moist side, and not roasting hot. Don't get me wrong though, it was yummy! The cocktail, service, starter, and main were all perfect so being the sweet freak that I am I think I just built myself up too much for the grand finale. You can view the Blythswood's current market menu selection here, and to be honest, I was really digging for any sort of negatives in this meal because it was absolutely lovely. You can't go wrong with £20 for 3 courses like this, and the really refreshing point was that the portions were of a size that you could thoroughly enjoy them without feeling absolutely stuffed. Again I will reference TGI Fridays, but can you imagine eating 3 courses there? Um, no!

The setting was lovely, service was fab (as it always has been here) and I was really impressed by the fact that they make this menu up using ingredients from local Glasgow markets. Hence the name! I would be interested to see how often they change this menu however. I understand that set menu's always have a slightly limited but still fairly spread choice, but if I went back for lunch I would like to see something different again from the options we were presented with that day. According to the website though, it has changed already, so hopefully I'm right about that one and they do some sort of rotation depending on what is seasonal etc at the markets. Places like this really remind me why I love going out for meals. And also, why I love Glasgow and what it has to offer. Have you ever eaten, stayed, or been pampered at the Blythswood? And if so, what did you think?

So the story with me seems to be, eat what I want, don't exercise, but still complain that I'll always be the same weight. Our lunch at the Blythswood really proved that you don't need to eat LOTS to have a satisfied tummy. If only I had my own personal chef of michelin standards... (although John makes pretty mean scrambled eggs) I also really need to try and stick at the 30 day shred :( But my working hours can be so scattered and unsocial I either a. want to pass out by the time I get home from a 16 hour day of filming, or b. don't want to bounce around my bedroom at 1am like an elephant in a teashop, much to my flatmates delights. I feel like I won't do anything about my weight until I go over my *danger* zone. But that's such a rubbish attitude to have. I know. I'm sorry!

Where do you find your motivation from when it comes to eating and living healthy? (but still well) Share your secrets with me you wonderful creatures! While life keeps me super busy I'll keep on giving myself excuses not to get my bum into gear, but it has provided me with lots of good times, smiles and photos to share with you all soon (since I am possibly the worst blogger ever) of what I have been upto. And when I say soon, I promise!

Ayden x


  1. Looks like such a good meal! I've never had lamb myself. I wish there were more cute little restaurants like that near where I live. Thankfully I'm moving soon and will have a few more places to explore :P

    I've been trying to get healthy too lately. Healthy is always great, but there's really no point in eating if it doesn't taste good, am I right? I'm a big food fan too :P

    My little tips to get feeling a little more healthy, is to drink LOTS of water. Instead of soda or juice, water will make you feel a thousand times better, and it's really good for the skin too. Also a dozen or so crunches right after you wake up.

    There's a super easy exercise that I call the "ballerina" and it's basically just standing on your tiptoes a bunch of times, but you really feel it in your calves! Try 100 of those and you'll feel like you got a huge workout!

  2. Wow all of that looks incredible, amazing attention to detail!

    I struggle with food too, I love it a bit too much. I lost 3 stone before I went to uni back in 2005 but since then have put it all back on and more, now I have a daunting amount I want to lose and find it hard enough to motivate myself to diet let alone exercise. I go through phases of eating super healthy and losing weight steadily..to binge eating. No will power. Ah well.

    Your hair looks amazing btw!


  3. You have no idea how much that post has made me want a midnight snack...

    I'm trying to tone up and eat better at the moment - I'm really motivated right now because I just got fed up of complaining about how I looked and beating myself up about it so I decided to just bloody do something about it. I'm not interested in full-on dieting though, more changing the way I eat... and giving myself a cheeky day off each week ;) You always look really great though - you really don't need it!

    p.s... I can't think of a way to word this without sounding like a desperate/shameless plugger, but I more or less started my blog so I could write about my attempts to get fitter & there's a lot of stuff about it on there at the moment. Ok, whoring over. Sorry!!

  4. Like you, I have a HUGE sweet tooth! Literally I have a fudge brownie sitting in my purse right now that I brought home from work and I'm just eyeing it and fighting the urge to eat it all!

    I work a fast food job and upon getting my job, I worried that it would be difficult to maintain my weight. My restaurant posts all the nutrition info and I try to eat the healthiest options; fruit cup instead of fries for example. It's all about what you choose. I have cut out soda and all caffeine so I don't get a lot of unnecessary calories.

  5. This food looks amazing, so beautifully presented. I love food too and trying new foods with friends is a huge part of my socialising. I find that knowing I have a nice meal coming up helps me to be good during the few days before. My weaknesses are sweet things and, oddly, cereal - there are certain brands I just can't buy as I know that the box will only last a couple of days! x

  6. It's the cocktails that have really made me jealous in this - probably not a good sign at half nine in the morning!
    I'm exactly the same as you when it comes to food - massive sweet tooth, and not a fan of denying myself. Cutting out things I enjoy just seems silly.
    I used to worry a bit about my weight as well - same nine stone boundary which is probably just a little bit much for my height. My trick has been to work exercise into my day so I don't really notice it. I cycle everywhere, slowly, but on a heavy bike. And do silly things to; as a student I spend a lot of time sat at my desk, so rather than a chair I sit on an exercise ball. I must look pretty mental, but bouncing all the time definitely doesn't feel like exercise, and has the same effect as loads of crunches - result! And hula hooping is my other essay-writing break. That's not really exercise, is it? It's nostalgia! For me building exercise into my day so it's not something I think about and have to set time aside to do has definitely been to getting over my massive mental block and feeling better about my biscuit habit!

  7. I ate what I want, when I want. If I fancy a bowl of noodles at 4 in the morning then I'll eat them (with chilli sauce and soy sauce)
    I do got to the gym around 4 times a week though, so I can eat what I want. I have an unhealthy obsession with crips, I could easily eat a 12 pack of wotsits no trouble. :S
    Great post, and LOVE the look of your cocktails. Yum.

  8. That place looks amazing! its hard to find a place where they make real cocktails and put the effort in, most places in Cardiff just kind of throw it all together. Those ones look beautiful.

    I'm pretty awful when it comes to food, portion control means nothing to me. I joined Weight Watchers and keep a food diary which helped me get to my goal weight. Way too lazy too exercise though, 30 day shread is about all I can manage.

    I think its all about the 80/20 ratio of good to bad :) xx

  9. I have exactly the same attitude as you when it comes to food, and thumbs up for the amaretto sours, anything with amaretto in is amazing to me. Try a Godmother cocktail sometime if you can! x

    Lea x


  10. Haha, that made me lol - sticky toffee pudding is DEFS better than being skinny! I saw a recipe for white chocolate sticky toffee pudding.. Man it looks goooooood (and I don't even like white chocolate) xxx

  11. yummms that defn looks delicious!!!


  12. I am definitely the same when it comes to food! I love sweet things more than anything, and find myself even after having a massive meal (think a large Dominoes Pizza, healthy, I know (; ) still craving something sweet afterwards :o
    I think I've just become used to my body not storing all this fat toooo visibly, so one day when I wake up morbidly obese, I'll do something about it! haha. For now gimme the chocolate, because we only have one life! (& one set of teeth to ruin! eeek!) (: x

  13. All this food looks lovely. I'm just like you I won't exercise as long as I maintain my weight, I just hate exercise and love food! xx

  14. This looks gorgeous! I'd love to go somewhere like here! I too love my food and eating out is one of my fave things ever. I wish it wasn't but it is. I'm running to try lose weight but the number on the scale is still kinda creeping up :( x

  15. mmm.... I have NO willpower when it comes to food! I love it!

    Its funny though, I never use to be the type of person that did exercise but now I love it!
    Sometime my training gives me a little boost and I come out feeling happier. Much in the way chocolate makes you feel! That endorphin rush, eh?

    Like you said Ayden, if it makes you happy....

  16. I just stumbled upon your blog and I feel like we are kindred spirits in the food department! I too, would love to be a bit slimmer, but I'm afraid I love sweets too much! We look to be about the same size.

    When it comes to exercise motivation...my boyfriend motivates me a bit. He's not a fitness buff or anything but he does about 30 minutes 3-4 times a week so I feel like a should do a bit to keep up! I also have problems with feeling achy and sore in the morning, and I always feel better after a bit of yoga. I have this Jillian Michaels yoga dvd that I like to do. I like doing fitness dvds because I am to lazy to drive anywhere!

  17. Ayden you are so beautiful! I need to get my hands on the 30 day shred!

  18. Wow this food looks absolutely amazing!
    We go the The Celtic Manor for our Christmas do with work and the portions there are tiny, but I am always pleasantly surprised at how filling they are x

  19. Totally the same when it comes to food - I just like the taste too much to be bothered about being a size 10! Who cares?!

    Also say whaaat £20 for 3 courses? With the snazzy pictures and presentation I was so expecting a seriously hefty price tag as well.

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